Arts & Culture

Family Picks: Enjoy science and dance on Valentine’s Day

Learn about the love lives of mosquitoes Saturday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History in Raleigh.
Learn about the love lives of mosquitoes Saturday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History in Raleigh. TNS

Valentine’s Day never meant a thing to me as an adult – then my wife and I had kids. Now, they’re excited to pick out or make valentines for their friends, their grandparents and their teachers, and my wife and I have fun enabling this. Through their eyes, it’s such a sweet, innocent holiday, and I’ve started to see it the same way. This weekend, feel free to ignore the V-Day bashing that always accompanies Feb. 14, and instead think about what it means to little kids.

• Store-bought is fine and good, but there’s still time to break out the crayons and construction paper and make valentines with your children. My wife got pretty creative this year and cut heart shapes out of sandpaper, which our girls put under sheets of paper and used crayons for rubbings. Pinterest is full of homemade valentine suggestions, though you may want to see if your kids have any ideas first. They can get quite creative!

• Chapel Hill’s Kidzu is still holding events, even while it’s closed to prep its new Launch Pad location (opening in mid-March). Saturday afternoon the American Dance Festival takes over the indoor center stage for a free show at the University Mall from 2-3 p.m. Visit

to learn more or for updates on Kidzu’s reopening.

• Saturday is also Darwin Day, at least at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. There will be lessons in evolutionary theory by current researchers, but also talk about love in the animal kingdom – and among invertebrates, too, as even mosquitoes’ love lives will be discussed in detail. Most programs are open to all ages, but a few are appropriate for ages 12 and up. Visit

to learn more about this free day of love, bugs and evolution, which runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

• It’s Forensic February at Durham’s Museum of Life and Science, with different crime-solving activities weekly. This weekend, learn about handwriting analysis; next week, blood stains! The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission ranges from $8 to $14.50, with kids 2 and under getting in free. Visit


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